The Coyote's Ramblings - 2007B
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5/3/07
Help me out here, folks; I'm a tad confused.  I've gotten a bit of what I might consider hate mail, in my opinion, regarding my editorializing in the "What's Happening" listing for Emerald Coast Bikefest.  To recap, at the January planning meeting, their representatives assured all present that they would NOT have a "no colors, no patches" policy this year as they did in '06.  Then, on their website, they reinstated it for this year.  Now, in my opinion, that constitutes as much discrimination within the biker community as a "no biker attire" sign does in the general population.  I've walked out of at least one Daytona bar before I'd turn my ABATE patch inside out.  I'm sure many HOG, GWRRA, Southern Cruisers, Retreads and others feel the same way, as we've discussed it.
 
Now, one of the e-mails I got accused me of not caring about the biker community in general and in fact, hoping I felt good "...when outlaws steal your bike..."  AT least that part of his message was amusing since I don't know any outlaws who would even want a Honda.  He also said that there were patches all over Holt last weeekend so therein lies my problem, folks.  I, and many who felt the same way I do, didn't go to Holt because of that notice on their website, so I don't know.  I'd sure like to have some more reports and opinions(from more neutral, and sober, observers) before I decide whether or not to post this event for next year.  Do you think I'm too harsh on the subject of discrimination?
 
I really would appreciate feedback on this.  I've been doing this website as a service to the Panhandle bike community too long (Damn, almost 7 years!) to want to screw up.  Y'all let me know, and ride safe!
[2007A]
5/9/07
"...back in the saddle again..."  In my aged decrepitude, I think it was Gene Autrey who used to sing that, way back when.  That was my case last Saturday, when I rode over to Thunder Beach in Panama City Beach.  The weather was perfect, albeit hot, and I'm sure this is the best turn-out yet for this rally.  Therein lies the real reason I think this is probably my last Thunder Beach.  I'm gonna leave the horrendous traffic to you younger riders.  Their concept of multiple venues spread over the entirety of the community is good, ... except for the travel BETWEEN them.  I think I hit 3rd for about 50 feet...once.  If you've never been, I urge you to attend the Fall session, but don't miss it just because of my complaints.
 
On a different note, as a follow-up to my prior (negative) commentaries on the Emerald Coast Bikefest, I do appreciate the feedback y'all have given me (both positive and negative) and have given it a lot of thought.  I've always tried to run this website as a free (hint, hint) service toall Panhandle bikers and I've decided it would be a disservice to not list an event open to all just because of a "no-colors" policy, whether actively applied or not.  I will make every attempt to include that info in the listing on the "What's Happening" page, and I will reserve my right to comment on its propriety on the "Ramblings" page, much as a newspaper might do splitting news from editorials.  They STILL lied at the planning meeting!
 
Y'all ride safe, and thanks again for sharing your opinions.
5/19/07
I don't really have much of anything to say except it's been over a week and I figured some of you out there may be suffering from moderate to severe anxiety.  I haven't been too far from the house since PC, except Tuesday's Fairfield Sonic and Fat Boys on Fridays.  I got the heads-up from Red that he's tending bar at Beach Bum Bert's on Thursdays and Sundays and he's starting a bike night there on Thursdays.  He's gonna try and come up with music and specials of some kind.  In case you don't recognize the name, it used to be Betty's Bluegrass and then, The Bluegrass.  I've been there a few times and it's a comfortable little place.  It has a dirt parking lot but it is in good shape.
 
If any of you have been tracking it, the new Korean War Memeorial in Veteran's Park is scheduled for dedication on Saturday, 5/26.  I think they may have gotten things a tad confused since someone there is of the opinion they'll have close to a thousand bikes for the 2PM ceremony.  Methinks they might not realize the Ride to the Wall South is Sunday, not Saturday.  Gawd, I LOVE communications!
 
Speaking of which, it's been good communicating with you again...so ride safe, and d rink plenty of water.
5/25/07
Sorry, friends, if you were expecting to see me at the Nine Mile Sonic, or Fat Boys afterward.  I ALMOST made it...as far as the light for Target off University Parkway.  That's where my clutch cable decided to part company with itself.  Thank goodness it was downhill, and there was a ramp at the crosswalk to reach the median so I didn't have to push that 750+ pounds over a curb, or leave it in traffic.
 
Of course, being the start of the Memorial Day weekend, there was at least a ten minute wait for the HRCA trouble line to even answer (does "all our associates are busy; please stay on the line and we will help you in the order your call was placed" sound familiar?), and another 5 minutes trying to understand the little Indian or Pakistani at the call center and explain where I was.  On the plus side, Bayside Towing arrived within 5 minutes of their projected time (55 minutes!).  Do you know how boring it is to sit in the median with no one to talk with?  Finally, Bob and Caretaker came by 10 minutes before the truch got there.  Thanks, guys.
 
I guess this even puts the kabosh on my making the Korean War Memorial dedication in the morning.  Let's see how early I can get busy.  In other news(ta-da), Wednesday's Hub Stacy bike night is getting bigger and bigger.  It almost felt like the old Trader Jon's with less parking and smaller sidewalk.  Damn, I miss that place!  Well, enough for now; ride safe and sober this weekend.  I don't want to lose any more friends.
6/1/07
Hmmmm, first day of hurricane season..... and I DID make the Saturday Korean War Memorial dedication(the first part relates to the second only in that I was thinking about it as I entered the date).  The funny part is that actually changing the cable took less time than lubing it in the first place.  There was a fair sized turnout, although the inadequacy of the sound system precluded many from hearing the speakers.  Sunday's Wall South ceremonies were well attended and I had the opportunity to see many of my once-a-year friends.
 
The rain-within-50-miles syndrome cut way down on Tuesday's Fairfield Sonic and Wednesday's Hub Stacy crowds, though. For that matter, I won't be making tonight's Pace Sonic since I plan on a little bead-catching tonight at the Fiesta Parade.  C'mon guys, they just said I had to get older, not grow up!
 
Time to start laying in your hurricane supplies, so take advantage of the sales tax holiday.  In the meantime, y'all ride safe and watch out for one another.  seeya!
6/11/07
I know you're going to get tired of me talking about it....but it's HOT!  It's after 8 tonight and it's still 84 degrees.  I had to take Mom for a doctor visit today at Baptist and I'll bet it was at least 95...way too hot for her to be out.
I've been downing the Gator Aid, and it helps some, but I think I'm just getting old.
 
I have managed to get out and about riding in the past week but I've tried to keep it early in the day, or after sunset.  While I was out, Jeff from Pine Forest Cycles asked me let the word out that they now are on the web.  His URL is http://www.pineforestcyclesinc.com/ .  Since I ride there to harass them, eat their cookies and use their air conditioning for a break, I figured I owed them at least that much.
 
Not much else happening, except an e-mail from Muff, saying he'd be back around the middle of July.  Okay, now are you guys who complain I don't write something often enough satisfied?  Geez, get a life, guys.  Do ride safe, though.
6/22/07
Eleven days, eh?  I must have been doing SOMETHING interesting, you say.  Well, let's see now; I gave my 100th donation of blood..something like 12 1/2 gallons so far.  You regular readers know by now that's my primary charity.  Due to the many health restrictions applied to our blood supply, there are fewer and fewer people who CAN give blood (I don't know the current estimates), but only 6% to 8% do.  Please check in with your local blood center to see if you qualify.  Here's a link to the Northwest Florida Blood Center, where I donate: http://www.nfbcblood.org/EligibilityRequirements.htm 
I think the standards are pretty universal in the US.
 
I've also been trying to go through all my accumulated scooter stuff and get a little organized.  In the process, I've found all kinds of stuff I got for the old CB750 and didn't use or replaced while it was still good.  Since I don't feel like sitting out in the sun for swap meets, I'm taking it up to Motorcycle Emporium on Fairfield, near W St, to sell on consignment.  Stop by and take a look; you might find something you can use at a real reasonable price.  I'm sure Vic and LaRosa would like to see you, anyway.
 
With this heat, I've been doing most of my riding in the mornings or at night, although even last night at Evening in Old Seville Square was pretty bad with the humidity.  Riding home, I noticed from Fisher-Brown that it was still in the mid-80's after 9.  Ugh!  Well, I'm going to attempt to make the Nine Mile Sonic tonight, the scene of last month's cable debacle.  Hope to see you there.  In the meantime, ride safe and stay hydrated.  It'll jump up and grab you!
6/29/07
What can I say about Syl Holley?  To his brother Gulf Coast Dragons, and to those other of us who were lucky enough to have ridden with him, he was a good man, loved and respected.  Tonight's viewing and tomorrow's funeral are going to be tough times for his widow, Jackie, and the rest of his family and friends, but I'm sure his spirit will be looking down on us, and smiling.  After all, it wouldn't be Heaven if He didn't allow motorcycles....
 
Ride free, Bro.
7/15/07
I've removed the Wednesday Hub Stacy's bike night listing since, apparently, we're not wanted by SOMEBODY.  The curb areas where we park(ed) have been painted yellow and "No Parking  to Corner" signs erected.  Maybe we made the civilians a little uneasy?  Rain, and the threat of same, has cut down on some the other bike nights, lately, as well.  I sure miss Trader Jon's.
 
Keep that hydration up in this hot weather...and I don't mean beer, either.  Maybe I'm just turning into an old fart but I just don't enjoy being around drunks.  I probably didn't before, but just had more tolerance.  Yup, that's it; I've got no tolerance left.  Maybe that's why I haven't taken my accumulated collection of scooter stuff to a swap meet (not that there are that many around).  It's just a whole lot simpler to take it to Motorcycle Emporium and let them handle them on a consignment basis.  There's other stuff than mine there, as well.  Drop on in; you never know what you might find that you can't live without.
 
That's it for now...maybe I won't wait over 2 weeks next time.  Y'all ride safe!
7/23/07
Methinks I acted a tad hastily in removing the Wednesday Hub Stacy listing from the Bike Nights.  Although my observation of the new signs was accurate, the results were not.  Last Wednesday evening was absolutely normal...wall-to-wall bikes right in the yellow zones and no cruising local constabulatory in sight.  Maybe they're waiting to sucker us in?
 
On Sunday, after the ABATE meeting, I rode over to Navarre to stop in at Cocodries.  The band was pretty good, the beer was cold, but the cookout was no longer free.  I guess it's been quite a while since I'd been over there, but it is $7 a plate, now.  Of course, the usual hot dogs and burgers were still there, but fried grouper and jambalaya as well as a few other sides had been added, so the value is up to you.
 
I hung around there for a while until I started seeing lightning over on the mainland and decided I'd head back to the barn.  The weather for the rest of the week seems a littly iffy (I did get spritzled upon today) but maybe it'll be clear enough tomorrow to seeya at the Fairfield Sonic.  Y'all take care now, and ride safe.
8/12/07
Long time, no see.... and there's probably a reason for it, now.  If you've been reading this long enough, you might recall I've been complaining about the heat for some time.  Growing up in the Panhandle, way back in the days before air conditioning, this never seemed to bother me; it's only been troubling to me in the last year or so.  Okay, so I'm getting old and just don't want to give in.
 
Well, a couple of weeks ago, my regular checkup at the VA clinic came up, preceded by the usual starving blood work and pee-in-a-cup.  Four days later my Doc greeted me with the usual "quit smoking and lose some weight" before getting to the lab results.  My blood pressure belonged to somebody much younger, my cholesterol was "disgustingly normal" (I think my trim and fit Doc has a problem with his), and my PSA level was such he didn't think I needed to undergo that other procedure for old guys (YIPEE!).  What was interesting was he asked me if I had noticed an increase in heat intolerance...
 
Okay, he had my attention.  When I responded in the affirmative, he got out his pad and started drawing the brain, with associated flow-charts and notations.  Anywho, without being able to remember any of the chemical names, I have a too-low level of something, and a too-high level of something else.  This told him I SHOULD be experiencing heat intolerance, heart palpitations and weight loss.  Now, I don't have the second, and could really use the third, but he's thinking we might have just caught this, so it's back to the lab for another stick for confirmation.  I'm still not handling the heat, though.
 
I'm still waiting of the retest which, if it repeats the high and low levels of whatever that brain juice is, will mean a referral to an endocrinologist (is that how it's spelled?).  Guess what, the VA doesn't have one in Pensacola OR Biloxi.  That means either Jackson, MS., or NoLa.  Damn, only 8 months 'til Medicare!  In the meantime, I'm staying out of the heat as much as possible so I hope you'll understand if I don't run into you out on the road on the scoot.  Y'all stay hydrated and use sunscreen while you're out riding; I'm STILL waiting on my dermatology referral.
8/20/07
Meanwhile, back at the ranch....  Last Friday, Ms. Lynn and I were out riding about and discovered a neat little place near Perdido Key, called Fisherman's Corner.  It's under the Intercoastal bridge, on the mainland side.  The parking lot is paved (mostly), the beer is cold (very) and the people are friendly (very).  It has a nice screened porch and the entertainment was mostly jam-session style.  They are starting a bike night on Thursday evenings, so maybe I'll see y'all there sometime.
 
One place you WON'T be seeing me anymore, though, is at Fatboys.  I won't go into any more than that on here, but I do recommend you read what Muff has to say at http://fatboysofpcola.com . I'm really sorry to have missed Mack Daddy when they played last weekend but I'll try to catch them this coming weekend at the Malibu.  Hmmm, maybe that'll be my new home base?  Naw....too much gravel in the parking lot.
 
If'n it ain't rainin', maybe I'll catch you at Nine Mile Sonic this Friday, or the Fairfield Sonic on Tuesday.  Either way, ride safe.
8/26/07
I'll have to express my apologies to the Malibu, on Gulf Beach Hwy;  the gravelled parking lot has settled in and, if not bike-friendly, is no longer bike-treacherous.  I was there both Friday and Saturday nights to listen to Mack Daddy and had the added benefit of watching the ends of both the Busch and Cup races on some really nice screens.  As I remembered, the beer was very cold, but they've added a deli-type operation during the day and early evening.  The menu sounded delicious!
 
Last Thursday, I had to make the choice between the two newest bike nights; Fisherman's Corner or the Apollo Club.  Since it was the last night for Evenings in Old Seville Square I went downtown first and then up to Town Street (across from Town & Country).  Seeing the lightning crackling to the north, I wasn't certain how much of a turnout the Apollo would have, but the brothers started coming about 8 or so, and were still arriving when I left, one beer later.  Most were the folks I've met at Fairfield Sonic on Tuesday nights, so it was real comfortable.  I hope I didn't miss y'all at Fisherman's Corner, and I'll try to make it there next Thurday.
 
Oh, point of interest...  Gulf Coast Chapter of ABATE now has it's own website up and running and I've linked to it from my home page.  Check it out; they've done a nice job so far, and it'll get better as construction continues.  Kudo, Dan!
 
I'm still trying to stay out of the daytime heat on the scoot but you can look for the blue S-10 (TGFAC!).  Y'all ride safe and stay hydrated.  Oh, by the way, there WON'T be a double moon tonight!